Kansas to rely more on community-based options for juveniles

Kansas will cut by three-fifths the number of juvenile offenders sent to out-of-state facilities, under legislation (SB 367) signed into law in April by Gov. Sam Brownback. The law resulted from recommendations issued in November 2015 by a bipartisan working group that included members from the legislative, executive and judicial branches. (The group also got assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Crime and Justice Institute at Community Resources for Justice.) 

The panel found that while Kansas’ crime rate among young people had dropped during the past decade, its juvenile justice system was keeping more lower-level offenders in out-of-state facilities and for longer terms. Moreover, that trend was partly due to a lack of community-based alternatives in many areas of the state. Kansas’ planned reduction in the number of juvenile offenders being sent out of state is expected to save the state about $72 million through FY 2022. That money will be reinvested in community- and evidence-based alternatives, according to the governor’s office. 
Kansas joins several other states that are investing more in community-based options as an alternative to incarceration — for example, South Dakota’s passage of SB 73 in 2015.
Stateline Midwest: May 20162.42 MB